Agency: Brownstein Group ECD: Dan Shepelavy Copywriter: Hannah McDonnell
The Curtis is one of the most wonderfully indulgent projects I’ve had the chance to work on. It is a branding project for a client, Keystone Property Group, which acquired this iconic, block-long building in Philadelphia. Located along Washington square and a block away from Independence Hall, it sits squarely inside the country’s most historic square mile.
My amateur appreciation and love of architecture is not where the indulgence lay. The Curtis is historic as it was built for and long the home of the Curtis Publishing Company which came to prominence during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among its most popular publications were Ladies Home Journal, Country Gentlemen and, most notably, The Saturday Evening Post. The latter is precious to many, but especially to the greater design and creative community as it proved to be the source of some of the most cherished illustrations of Norman Rockwell. The Saturday Evening Post was also, as many in that community know, a publication that turned to iconic typographer Herb Lubalin when they sought to reimagine the design of their masthead.
It was these two icons that inspired the reimagined building’s brand, from its fat face typography to the illustrated map and body copy font choice. Many of the details of this project were informed from a few trips down to the wonderful Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware which is 100% worth a trip to if only for the beautifully maintained grounds.